House votes on Republican nominee Mike Johnson for speaker – US politics live | US politics
The House has started voting in the first ballot on Mike Johnson’s speakership nomination.
This marks the fourth round of voting in the House for a new speaker.
Punchbowl News reports that for the first time, there was unanimous applause for a House speaker candidate on the GOP side.
Today’s House attendance is 429. That means 215 votes are required for Johnson to win the gavel if everyone votes for a person by name, Punchbowl News reports.
Ahead of a floor vote on Mike Johnson’s candidacy to be the next speaker of the House, the House Democratic leader, Hakeem Jeffries, warned that Republicans were poised to elevate a political extremist who voted to overturn the US election and supports a nationwide ban on abortion.
During an interview at a conference hosted by the left-leaning Washington thinktank, Center for American Progress, Jeffries said Johnson “has a very pleasant demeanor in terms of how he communicates, but his voting record is as extreme as the most extreme members of their conference, with very few exceptions”.
He added: “Mike Johnson, probably more so than almost any other member of the House Republican conference, wants to criminalize abortion care and impose a nationwide ban.”
Jeffries said his caucus would “forcefully push back” on Republican “extremism”. He also called on the would-be speaker to bring legislation to the floor that would secure additional aid for both Ukraine and Israel, rather than split the bills to appease what Jeffries called the “pro-Putin caucus”.
In the friendly interview, the MSNBC host Ari Melber pressed Jeffries: “It sort of sounds like you’re saying Congressman Johnson is just a less stylistically annoying Jim Jordan?”
“One could say that,” Jeffries said to laughs in the audience.
But the Democratic leader added that Johnson, more so than Republicans’ previous candidates for speaker, has a working relationship with members of the House judiciary committee that could be the foundation for bipartisan work. He also noted Johnson’s vote for two Trump-era bills that won broad bipartisan support: the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and on a criminal justice overhaul bill.
Still, Jeffries has no intention of backing Johnson to be speaker. Before heading back to Capitol Hill to vote, he vowed: “Later on today, we’ll make clear that we will continue to forcefully push back against that extremism and lay out what the stakes are for the American people.”
The former New Jersey governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said that he thinks Mike Johnson is the “lucky beneficiary of [Republicans’] exhaustion and their embarassment”.
In response to a question on whether he thinks House Republicans will have to make some sort of compromise with Democrats to elect a speaker if Johnson is unable to secure the necessary votes, Christie said;
“I don’t know … They seemed pretty unified last night. I think they’ve all been beaten into submission and it appears Mike Johnson turns out to be the lucky beneficiary of their exhaustion and their embarrassment. If it doesn’t happen today, then I’m a total loss as to what they do next.
Folks in that caucus are going to have to have a reckoning now. Mike Johnson, if he wins, I hope understands that he is the definition of a compromise candidate and that he needs to act in the way that represents the interest of everybody in the caucus, not just one group in particular.”
Mike Johnson said that he will win “on the first vote”, CNN’s Manu Raju reports.
Punchbowl News reports that the House is moving into a quorum call.
Donald Trump has hailed Mike Johnson as the House speaker nominee, saying:
“I think Mike Johnson is doing very well. He’s a tremendous congressman, respected by everybody. I hear it looks like it’s really good. I haven’t had one negative comment about him. Everybody likes him. He’s respected by all.”
The Texas Republican representative Tony Gonzales hailed Mike Johnson’s speakership nomination, tweeting on Wednesday:
“I look forward to working with him to help SECURE the southern border as OUR next Speaker of the US House.”
With the House set to convene at noon, House speaker nominee Mike Johnson has tweeted the following:
Johnson said he will pass the energy and water appropriations bill this week, Punchbowl News reports.
On Monday, Johnson laid out an ambitious House schedule surrounding bills which did not mention any aid to Israel or Ukraine.
Punchbowl News is reporting some descriptions of Mike Johnson coming out of the Democrat whips meeting.
The Senate foreign relations committee has approved Jack Lew’s nomination to serve as the US ambassador to Israel, Punchbowl News reports.
The Biden pick was approved with a 12-9 vote, with Kentucky’s Republican senator Rand Paul voting alongside Democrats in support of Lew.
Joe Biden has assured Evan Gershkovich’s family that the US will bring the detained Wall Street Journal reporter home from Russia.
The Guardian’s Ramon Antonio Vargas reports:
As the Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich prepared to spend his 32nd birthday on Thursday in a Moscow lockup, Joe Biden has assured the reporter’s family that the White House will ultimately get him back to the US from Russia, the journalist’s sister said.
Danielle Gershkovich remarked on Tuesday in an interview onthat the president “promised our family personally that he’s going to get Evan home”.
“His friends and family – we just want him to get back to doing what he loves the most,” Danielle Gershkovich said in reference to her brother’s reporting as she appeared on several cable news networks across the political spectrum. “Evan’s not here yet – the job isn’t done, and we’re waiting to see him home.”
Gershkovich in late March became the first American journalist to be held in Russia on spying charges since the end of the cold war. He was at the end of a work trip when he was detained in Ekaterinburg.
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Several House Republicans have told Punchbowl News that they think Mike Johnson could win the speakership on the first ballot today.
Here are some images from the newswires last night following Mike Johnson’s House speaker nomination:
The Republican senator for Maine Susan Collins said she will Google who Mike Johnson is, CNN’s Lauren Fox reports.
“I asked Susan Collins what it would be like to work with Johnson on spending issues and she said she doesn’t know him, but was going to Google him this morning,” Fox tweeted on Wednesday.
Nearly one in four Americans believe that political violence is justified to “save” the country, a new report shows.
The Guardian’s David Smith reports:
The 14th annual American Values Survey, carried out by the non-profit(PRRI) in partnership with the Brookings Institution thinktank, offers a snapshot of America’s deepening polarisation and willingness to contemplate taking up arms.
Even as Joe Biden has sought to lower the temperature, support for political violence has increased over the past two years, the survey shows. Today about 23% of Americans agree that “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country” – up from 15% in 2021.
The PRRI has asked this question in eight separate surveys since March 2021 but this is the first time that support for political violence has risen above 20% in the general population.
One in three Republicans believe that “true American patriots” may have to resort to violence to save the country, compared with 22% of independents and 13% of Democrats – all representing increases since 2021. Almost one in three white evangelical Protestants believe that patriots may have to resort to political violence to save the country, markedly higher than any other religious group.
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The White House has cancelled its plans to have the American new wave band B-52s perform at Wednesday’s state dinner for the Australian prime minister.
The Associated Pressthe first lady, Jill Biden, saying the performance would be inappropriate at a time when “so many are facing sorrow and pain”.
“We made a few adjustments to the entertainment portion of the evening,” she said, without directly referring to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
“Nurturing our partnerships and relationships with our allies is critically important, especially in these tumultuous times,” Jill Biden added. “Food is comforting, reassuring and healing, and we hope that this dinner provides a little of that as well.”
Members of the band will instead be guests at the state dinner.
House Republicans booed a reporter after she appeared to ask Mike Johnson, whoan amicus brief that urged supreme court justices to overturn 2020 electoral votes from key swing states, about his involvement.
In response to the question, “You help lead the effort to overturn the 2020 election results, do you–,” a group of House Republicans standing behind Johnson immediately started booing, with one saying, “Shut up!”
Johnson meanwhile shook his head, smiled and said, “Next question.”
Speaking about his nomination, Mike Johnson said, “This is leadership” and maintained that the House Republican conference is united.
“We’re going to restore your trust in what we do here. You’re going to see a new form of government and we’re going to move this quickly. This group here is ready to govern and we’re going to govern well,” said Johnson.
He added, “You’re going to see this group working like a well-oiled machine.”
After weeks of political infighting and unsucesseful speaker nominations, the Louisiana Republican representative Mike Johnson has become the GOP’s latest nominee for the House speaker’s chair last night.
Johnson’s nomination came just hours after Tom Emmer, a Minnesota representative, withdrew his speaker bid due to opposition from hard-right Republicans.
Johnson is now the fourth nominee to attempt to secure 217 votes needed to win the gavel, following Emmer, as well as Ohio’s Jim Jordan and Louisiana’s Steve Scalise.
Speaking to reporters following his nomination, Johnson: “Democracy is messy sometimes but it is our system … This House Republican majority is united.”
With no speaker since Republicans ousted Kevin McCarthy from the seat earlier this month, the House has been left in a limbo and unable to pass legislation needed to respond to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine.
With the House set to meet at noon, it remains to be seen whether Johnson will be able to overcome the political divisions that the previous candidates faced.
Here are other developments:
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will welcome the Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, and his partner, Jodie Haydon, to the White House today.
Mark Meadows, Donald Tump’s former White House chief of staff, testified in the 2020 election case after being granted limited immunity.
Nearly one in four Americans believe political violence is justified to “save” the country, according to a new report.